Assam recorded the most number of sedition cases in the country in the last eight years, according to an analysis of official data.
The data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports showed that out of 475 sedition cases registered in the country between 2014 and 2021, Assam accounted for 69 cases — 14.52 per cent. This means that around one in six sedition cases registered in the country in the last eight years came from Assam.
The NCRB compiles and publishes crime statistics as reported by states and Union Territories, and data on sedition cases (registered under Section 124A of the IPC) is available since 2014.
The latest edition of the NCRB’s Crime in India report showed that 76 sedition cases were registered across the country in 2021, a marginal increase from the 73 registered in 2020. The number of these cases stood at 93 in 2019, 70 in 2018, 51 in 2017, 35 in 2016, 30 in 2015 and 47 in 2014.
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A state-wise analysis of sedition cases shows that after Assam, the most number of such cases were reported from Haryana (42 cases), followed by Jharkhand (40), Karnataka (38), Andhra Pradesh (32) and Jammu and Kashmir (29). These six states accounted for 250 cases — more than half the number of total sedition cases recorded in the country — in the eight-year period.
Of Assam’s 69 sedition cases registered in that period, three were from 2021, 12 from 2020, 17 from 2019, 17 again from 2018, 19 from 2017 and one from 2014. No sedition case was registered in the state in 2015 and 2016.
Nine other states and UTs registered sedition cases in double digits in the last eight years — Manipur (28), Uttar Pradesh (27), Bihar (25), Kerala (25), Nagaland (17), Delhi (13), Himachal Pradesh (12), Rajasthan (12) and West Bengal (12).
Three states — Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana — reported eight sedition cases each in the 2014-21 period, while Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh registered six cases and Goa four.
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Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Lakshadweep registered just one sedition case each. Sikkim and Tripura recorded two sedition cases, and Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat registered three each.
States and UTs that did not register even one sedition case in that period were Meghalaya, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and Puducherry.
In the NCRB reports, data on sedition cases is given under the headline ‘Offences Against State’. While cases registered under the Section 124A of the IPC have been mentioned under the sub-head ‘Sedition’, the cases registered under Section 121, 121A, 122 and 123 IPC have been given under the second sub-head ‘Others’. In all, 149 offences against the state were registered in the country during 2021, of which 76 were sedition cases and 73 were under the ‘other’ subhead. The total number of offences against the state stood at 172 in 2020 and 163 in 2019.